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Monday, February 6, 2023

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How to Cut Corners and Be Generous During the Holidays

A bit of creativity can really go a long way when trying to cut the dollar bill’s corner during the holidays. Setting realistic budgets and keeping yourself in check is rewarding. Realizing you can still give that perfect gift without the debt is fulfilling. Putting your credit cards on ice and shopping with cash only, so uplifting.

Here are a few ideas that will make you feel rewarded, fulfilled and uplifted this holiday season:

• “Make and Takes” are cheaper than paying someone else to do it and your personal touch is appreciated even more. For example take an old table and repurpose and paint it new to your gift recipient’s liking.

• Buy “new-to-you items” at yard sales, thrift shops or online classifieds and auctions. You’ll be amazed at what treasures can be found at discounted prices if you have the patience and are willing to sift through a lot of junk. The saying is true—one person’s trash is someone else’s treasure.

• Shop year-round for the perfect gift. Find deals off season and put them away for the next. Buy winter items in the spring and bathing suits in the fall. Buy next year’s Christmas decorations, ornaments and wrapping paper on December 26, and then put them away for next year or, better yet, delay exchanging Christmas gifts and you’ll save 50 percent.

• Skip convenience foods (picking up coffee, drive thrus, etc.) and going out. Invite friends over for a fun evening at home. You’d be amazed at how much you’ll save if you don’t go out for dinner and drinks. If you host, ask friends to bring a bottle or a dish to share and this will cut down on your entertaining costs.

• Give experiences rather than stuff. While the upfront cost may seem daunting, give a season pass to a farm, museum, amusement park or a gym. It’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year and it’s an even better if you can do it together. Use CertifiKID, Groupon or Living Social websites for local deals and steals.

Lastly, you’ll save the most by not buying into the holiday hype and advertising of needing the newest gadget or hot toy. Consumerism has sadly taken away the joys of gift giving. Instead of stressing over buying the “perfect” gift, choose to spend time with family and friends. Stuff gets tossed aside but thoughtful acts of kindness will remain in their hearts forever. Give the gift of you!

 

Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas is a freelance writer and for the past 8+ years writes the money column for Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine. She has lived in Fredericksburg for 16 years with her husband and is a homeschooling mom to their two boys. Nikki enjoys hiking, knitting and her other side hustles of pet sitting and event management.

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